Shipping Containers Disassembled: What are the Parts of a Shipping Container – Part 2

blue shipping container

Shipping containers are what keep our cargo safe and moved easily when being shipped overseas. What makes up a shipping container? How can you tell if the container that you are using is going to stand up to the test of shipping?

Last time we touched on the overall assembly of the shipping container and a couple of the parts. Here are the rest of the components and what to look for to make sure that your shipping container is in good working condition.

The Roof

The roof is made of steel sheets. The sheets are corrugated in order to add strength to the overall roof structure. The roof also adds rigidity to the overall frame of the shipping container.

Most of the weakness in the roof can only be inspected by looking at the top from the outside. Damage will usually be seen in the form of bubbling or pitting. This is caused by rust; if it wears all the way through, it can allow rain to leak into your container. It can also compromise the strength of the roof.

Side Wall Panels

Much like the roof, the side walls are made of corrugated steel. This design is used to add further strength and rigidity.

The most telltale sign of damage in the side wall can be from impacts or from bowing. Looking directly down the line of the sidewall, you should be able to see any outward bowing of the sides that can indicate a compromised structure.

Horizontal Support Rails

These rails are used to create the frame of the shipping container. They are what join the roof to the sidewalls and are welded into place. The shapes of the rails are either box shaped, or flat bars.

A good first place to look for damage is along these welds. Good welds will not have any cracks or pits in them. Rails, like sidewalls, can also be bowed out. Look for this as an indication of impact damage.

Corner Posts and Door Ends

These posts are made of very high tensile steel. Because of this, there are strict regulations for proper repair. If corner posts are repaired incorrectly, it could result in a total collapse of the shipping container. Like the rails, inspect corner posts for cracks on the welds. These can indicate compromised joints that will lead to failure.

Along with all these parts, there is one part we did not specifically mention, the door. Doors should be secure and swing freely. Door gaskets should be secure and not hanging loose from the door jambs. If both doors are closed and you can see daylight from anywhere inside, it is an indication of a compromised shipping container.

Cratex group are experts in industrial packing and transloading. If you have any questions about shipping containers, feel free to contact us!